Scrolling Headlines:

Lawrence Osborn Fossil Collection showcases fossils from across the globe, spanning vast ages -

January 23, 2018

Retired professor and public figure, Julius Lester, passed away at age 78 -

January 23, 2018

UMass looks to maintain discipline in Tuesday’s tilt at Boston College -

January 23, 2018

UMass men’s and women’s swimming and diving earns second place finishes at Dartmouth Invitational -

January 23, 2018

YouTube’s free speech problem -

January 23, 2018

Resolutions should not wait until the new year -

January 23, 2018

Book review: ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi -

January 23, 2018

Charli XCX’s latest release, ‘Pop 2,’ is another gorgeous experiment on electro-pop -

January 23, 2018

Rashaan Holloway ruled academically ineligible, will miss rest of season -

January 22, 2018

Minutewomen hold on to defeat VCU, snap losing streak -

January 22, 2018

America’s misguided war on low-income financial assistance -

January 22, 2018

Blue lights aren’t needed on campus anymore -

January 22, 2018

Cupcakke’s ‘Ephorize’ proves it’s time to take her seriously -

January 22, 2018

Netflix series ‘The End of the F***ing World’ packs a punch -

January 22, 2018

UMass hockey falls flat in 5-0 loss to Northeastern -

January 20, 2018

UMass women’s track and field takes first, men fourth at Joe Donahue Games -

January 20, 2018

Sanzo: UMass’ game vs. St. Louis is a sign of what it is without its grit -

January 20, 2018

UMass men’s basketball gets blown out by Saint Louis, 66-47 -

January 20, 2018

UMass hockey shuts down No. 8 Northeastern with 3-0 win -

January 19, 2018

Matt Murray hands Northeastern its first shutout of the season -

January 19, 2018

Please flush the toilets

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian)

The week prior to homecoming, the Resident Assistants in my building bribed my floormates and I with donuts to attend the much-anticipated floor meeting. I expected the first order of business to be a description of the usual precautionary rules regarding homecoming and ‘Halloweekend’: Do not illegally consume alcohol or drugs on campus, do not black out in the common room area, do not sprinkle pieces of broken-up condoms through the hall like flower petals—the usual. The first item on the agenda, however, was a reminder to not shove water bottles into the bathroom toilets, and also a reminder to flush the toilets.

I looked around the room at future doctors, lawyers, government workers and engineers. Flush the toilets? Really? My old high school was home to the elusive “poop phantom,” but I thought I had left such childish immaturity behind when I signed my college loans.

The truth is, the state of the bathrooms in my dorm is absolutely ridiculous, with the bathrooms currently home to some of the most violent affronts to human hygiene and health. Last Thursday, I nearly ate tile while slipping on somebody’s regurgitated Svedka and Easy Mac. Toilets are never flushed. Hair monsters usually confined to the deep bowels of drains have crawled into the sinks and onto the walls. The other day, I mistakenly thought someone had left a small wig in the shower, but I was very wrong. Okay, the tiny painted “send nudes” pumpkin put a smile on my face, but for the most part, the bathroom shenanigans must be stopped.

Surely we can do better than this.

It is disrespectful to your peers and to the maintainers who have to clean up after your mess. Even though the maintainers kick me out of the shower every morning when they need to clean the bathroom, no one deserves to deal with that level of filth.

And boys, stay out the girls’ bathroom. I’m deeply saddened by the fact that the placement of your bathroom on the opposite side of the hall is inconvenient for you. Really, I am. But take the opportunity to lace up your sneakers and get some exercise walking those extra 30 feet.

Granted, I live in the freshman dorms, but just because you’re 18 years old does not excuse you from personal hygiene or common decency. You figured out how to file FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid); you can flush a toilet.

To concede, I am not the cleanest person myself. Okay, I can actually be extremely disgusting. Most times, my dorm is a few dirty forks and half-empty bottles of who-knows-what away from being auditioned for an episode of TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive.” Currently, my dorm reeks of last week’s (okay, last month’s) sweaty gym clothes that I haven’t gotten around to washing just yet. Even the most ardent Monica Gellers of the world harbor their secret junk closets. But this is my dorm and my mess suppressed within my own private space, the battle for cleanliness contained between myself and my ever-so-tolerant roommate. My messiness does not infringe upon the space of others.

Sorry Dan Riley, I don’t even mind the shower speakers. A little J. Cole in the morning never hurt anyone. It’s the hair monsters and the filthy toilet seats that get me. This is my mole hill. And I know there are far greater problems occurring in the world that warrant far greater attention than the toilet seats at the University of Massachusetts, but the world changes in small steps. Let’s all do our part, one flush at a time.

Isobel McCue is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at imccue@umass.edu.

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